“You Should Eat Only When You’re Hungry”
Tallmadge: That’s technically true, but it’s practically impossible to follow when you’re in a society where food is everywhere. And the idea of not eating all day if you’re not hungry isn’t right, either, because then you can overeat at dinner, when you’re suddenly ravenous.
Blatner: This is a tricky one. If we wait to eat until we’re hungry, we may not have access to healthy food when we need it. I recommend using a clock as a gauge: Eat every four to six hours, and eat until you feel satisfied, not uncomfortable and stuffed.
Keri Gans, registered dietitian in New York City and the author of The Small Change Diet ($15, amazon.com): If only people knew when they were hungry! The average person doesn’t. It’s so hard to tune in to your hunger because over the years other factors—like feelings, habits, and moods—start affecting when and how you eat. In general, you should eat every four to five hours. Any more than five and you will get extremely hungry and end up overeating at your next meal.